Sunday, January 21, 2018

Two Soups and a Risotto










Wow, it's been a long time since I posted a recipe. It's safe to say I haven't been very original in my cooking/baking lately. Honestly, I spent four weeks last Fall eating Italian Wedding soup every day for lunch. 

So here are two new soups and a risotto. I've been dreaming of getting an immersion blender, so after Christmas, I found a great deal online and finally bought one! Bring on the smooth soups (with chunks of meat and vegetables, of course, because that's how I roll). 

A few weeks ago on my way to the Art Institute I grabbed a bowl of Tomato Basil Soup at Cosi. It was the most amazing tomato soup I've ever tasted! After scouring the internet for copy-cat recipes, I've pulled together this first recipe. The second recipe is inspired by my friend, Kathy. I don't know how I've never made a fancy Ramen Soup before! And finally, the Risotto. On New Years Eve, I decided to make myself something super yummy, and based on what I had in my frig, it turned out to be risotto. I think it's going to be a tradition.

Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Soup, with Sausage, Onions and Kale
(a Cosi copy-cat recipe)

Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can of diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can of Fire Roasted diced Tomatoes
2 cups of Chicken Broth
1 cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream
¼ cup fresh Basil, chopped
2 tsp Sugar
Black Pepper
Salt

Olive oil
1 large Red Onion
1 package of Italian Sausage (pork or chicken) or Chicken/Turkey Meatballs
3-4 cups chopped Kale
Garlic
Salt
Pepper


As mentioned above, stead of sausage, can use little meatballs like Italian Wedding Soup. (Pictured to the left. They are my go-to meat in soups lately).

In a large pot, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, stirring often. Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. puree with an immersion blender in the saucepan, or you can also serve a chunky soup. Stir in creamer, fresh basil, sugar, garlic powder, pepper and salt to taste.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onions. A few minutes in, add ground Italian Sausage. When onions are browned and meat is cooked, add the kale, and spices. Cook a few minutes longer, and then add to the finished soup.
Serve with Parmesan Cheese.


Homemade Ramen Soup with Mushrooms, Chicken, and Spinach 

Olive Oil
1 package of Mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
1 Tbsp grated fresh Ginger
1 Tbsp Cooking Wine
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
2 packages of Ramen Noodles (discard the seasoning packets)
1/2 cup sliced Scallions
1/2 cup Baby Spinach Leaves
Cubed Chicken, already cooked (Rotisserie Chicken works best)
Fresh Cilantro
Crushed Peanuts

In a medium or large soup pot, heat oil and then add mushrooms. Cook until tender and brown. Add garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute, and then add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil, then herbs, scallions, spinach, noodles, and chicken.

Serve with cilantro and peanuts.


Parmesan Risotto with Sausage and Asparagus

4 cups of Chicken Broth or Stock
1 ½ cups water
4 Tbsp Butter
1 small Onion, finely chopped
Mushrooms
2 Tbsp Garlic
2 cups Rice
1 cup White Wine or Cooking Wine
1 cup Heavy Cream or Half & Half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Parsley

Sausage (pork or chicken)
Asparagus

In a medium sauce pan, bring the broth and water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover.

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add in onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and rice and cook until grains are translucent around the edges (Stirring frequently, around 3-5 minutes).

Add in the wine and stir constantly until wine is fully absorbed (about 3 minutes). Then stir in almost all of the heated broth, and cream, and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed (about 16-18 minutes), stirring 2-3 times.
Add the remaining 1 cup of hot broth and stir gently until risotto becomes creamy. Add in the Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. If risotto needs "loosened" add more broth until the desired consistency is achieved. Stir in parsley.

Serve with sausage and asparagus.



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Becca's Passover Classics

Passover was earlier this month, but that doesn't mean I still can't share my favorite Passover recipes. Here are my favorite spins on the Jewish classics Tzimmes, Charsost, and Matzo Brei:



Tzimmes

Sweet Potatoes
Carrots
Onion
Golden Raisins
Dried Cranberries

Olive oil
Red Wine
Salt
Garlic Powder
Ginger, powdered or fresh ground
Paprika
Cinnamon
optional: Allspice

and a little extra water

Chop vegetables into equally sized small chunks. In a small bowl, combine all the dry spices. Place vegetables in a large bowl, pour in olive oil, red wine, dry spice blend and ginger. Stir well. Grease a large baking dish. Pour in tzimmes. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 400 degrees – with tin foil on top for about 30 minutes, and then remove tin foil and continue to bake until vegetables are tender and top begins to brown.

Serve alongside chicken, etc.
My favorite combination is chicken, asparagus, tzimmes, and feta cheese.



Charoset

4-5 Apples (Gala is what I used)
1 Orange
1 Banana
Red Wine or Grape Juice
Cinnamon
Ground pecans or walnuts

Wash and quarter apples, peel orange and banana. In a food processor roughly chop up apples, then add orange and banana an pulse a few more times. Pour mixture into a bowl, add wine, cinnamon, and ground nuts. Stir well. Serve right away or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Serve at Passover, or alongside Matzo Brei!





  
Matzo Brei (breakfast)

(1 serving)

Oil or cooking spray
2 pieces of Matzo
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Milk
Salt
Cinnamon
Water

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and cinnamon. Take the two pieces of Matzo and hold them under a faucet of running water until the matzo begins to break apart in your hands. Place matzo in the egg mixture bowl and stir well. Heat a skillet, and add oil or cooking spray. Pour mixture onto skillet, and cook like you would scrambled eggs.

Serve with butter, and either Charoset, jam, or syrup.



 

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